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Mask violators to compulsorily serve at COVID-19 community centres: Gujarat High Court directs State to issue notice

With penalties and fines not working as effective deterrents for non-maskers, Gujarat High Court has come up with a unique punishment for offenders.

Since fining for not wearing masks in public does not seem to be working as an effective deterrent, the Gujarat High Court has come up with an interesting punishment to deal with people who are caught without masks.

The court has directed the state government to issue a notification, mandating compulsory community service at COVID-19 centres to those who are found violating mask-wearing protocol.

On November 30, the court heard a petition filed by Advocate Vishal Awtani who sought a fine of Rs 2,000 as well as community service in Covid care centres for those who did not wear masks. The division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Judge JB Pardiwala had asked the Government to reply to a petition filed by Advocate Vishal Awtani.

The court had observed that imposing steep fines on the violators did not act as a sufficient deterrent and the State Government should consider making offenders work at COVID-19 centres.

Violators will never forget to wear masks for life if sent for COVID-19 community service: Guj HC

Hearing the petition, the bench appeared positive and agreed with the demand made by advocate Awtani. The bench opined that it is important to tell people who violate COVID-19 protocols the fear of the law.

“If it is necessary to give punishments to such irresponsible people by sending them to COVID-19 centres, they will not forget to wear masks for life,” the bench noted.

The court added that they believe the violators should be sent for 10-15 days of non-medical service at COVID-19 care centres along with penalties instead of letting them loose after they pay their fines. The court said if strict rules are enforced, it will imbibe a sense of discipline among the state residents and play a crucial role in containing the coronavirus spread.

Surge in coronavirus cases in Gujarat

Recently, there has been a surge in coronavirus cases in Gujarat. Last one month has seen an increase of over 45,000 new positive cases in Gujarat. The active cases which had gone down to under 12,000 has gone up to almost 15,000. Over 4,000 people have succumbed to the virus in Gujarat. The recent surge in the virus has been noticed after the Diwali festivities.

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